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BB-8 by Sphero is every Star Wars fan's dream robot

Today, 01:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


When the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was revealed to the world, a whole lot of people had the same thought about one of the little robots in the trailer. It looked suspiciously like a giant Sphero robot with a little floating head on top, so naturally a ton of people asked Orbotix if they would be able to make a version of their popular Sphero robot to look like this thing from the trailer. Not long after, the world learned that not only was Orbotix capable of making a small version of that BB-8 droid, but was the company responsible for making the big one being used in the movie.

Today, BB-8 be Sphero is finally a real product you'll soon be able to buy for yourself, and it's shaping up to be the toy every Star Wars fan is going to want to own.

On the surface, this little droid closely resembles a Sphero orb with a little head on top, but the overall feature set blows away anything we've come to expect from the folks at Orbotix. BB-8 by Sphero pairs to your phone or tablet and lets you control movement, and as you'd expect it's the same kinds of movement we've seen from the larger BB-8 appearing in The Force Awakens. The BB-8 app includes several control methods, including voice controls tuned to the owner, sentry mode between pre-determined areas, and even autonomous behavior if you just want the droid to roam around and play. Sphero describes BB-8 as having an adaptive personality, and claims its behavior will change based on interaction with you. A line you'll see repeated in marketing material is how this droid is more than a toy, it's your companion.


The BB-8 app also includes a communication mode, allowing you to record messages from your phone and have them play back in an Augmented Reality field that looks as though your message is being played through a holo-projector baked into BB-8. If you've got friends who also have BB-8 droids, you'll be able to send holographic messages back and forth to one another through the app.

As you'd expect from a Sphero-like toy, the wireless docking cradle lets you drop BB-8 in when you're done playing and pick it back up when you're ready to go. Like the robot itself, the cradle is sporting heavy Star Wars theming, and when BB-8 is placed in its cradle the head adjust automatically to face forward, acknowledging that charging has started and just plain looking cool.

BB-8 by Sphero is launching on Force Friday, September 4th for those who haven't been paying attention to every little thing in the Star Wars Universe, for $149. Everything you need to know about grabbing one of these for yourself can be found over at the Sphero site.





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Gazelle vows to beat carrier and Apple's iPhone trade...

Yesterday, 10:11 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


Gazelle, the service that allows you to trade-in your old tech and receive cash in return, is running a promotion from today through September 9 where they promise to beat carrier and Apple trade-in prices. This offer covers the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and you'll be covered by the standard 30-day offer lock, just in case you'll need some more time to think about a possible upgrade to the new iPhone 6s.

Should you happen to locate a better deal at either Apple or your local carrier, Gazelle will beat that price during this promotional period. All colors and capacities of the aforementioned iPhone smartphones are included, but fear not if you have older units or other handsets as the company will also offer competitive pricing on anything you have available for trade-in.

Gazelle will offer up to $450 for trading in an old iPhone 6 Plus in flawless condition. The model, capacity and whether or not the unit is unlocked will also affect the amount you'd be set to receive. It's certainly worth analyzing your available options to see exactly which solution is best for you. Be sure to check out the Gazelle website and see how much you'd receive.


Will Beat Major Wireless Carriers and Apple with Special Promotional Pricing

BOSTON, Mass., Sept. 2, 2015 – Gazelle, Inc., the nation's leader in buying and reselling pre-owned consumer electronics, today announced a limited time promotion guaranteeing the best price on trade-ins of certain iPhone models from today through September 9th. The special promotion guarantees that Gazelle's cash offer for the iPhone 5S, 6 and 6 Plus will beat the trade-in credit offered by a customer's wireless carrier (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint) or Apple.

"Gazelle has always offered cash and great customer service but we're now also guaranteeing consumers the best price," said Sarah Welch, Gazelle's Chief Marketing Officer. "Consumers are frustrated by confusing carrier offers that often require a lengthy commitment or other terms and conditions. Unlike the carriers, Gazelle prides itself on offering a simple customer experience with no strings attached. Gazelle's industry-leading online experience also let customers sell their phones from home in just minutes, avoiding the long lines consumers are likely to run into at carrier stores following an iPhone launch."

Gazelle's Best Price Guarantee ensures that consumers will receive the best value through its trade-in service – paid out in cash not credit. If customers find a better offer from either their carrier or at Apple through September 9, 2015, Gazelle will beat the offer. The promotion covers all colors and capacities of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As always, Gazelle will offer competitive pricing on older models, as well. Terms of the promotion can be found here.

Gazelle recently commissioned a survey of more than 500 smartphone owners across the U.S. and found that many consumers are confused and angry at their wireless carrier and looking for alternatives. The survey showed that 42% are angry about losing carrier subsidies on the purchase of new iPhones, which now cost $650 or more, whether paid upfront or in monthly installments. Maximizing the value from trade-in is a great way to offset the high cost of upgrading.

Consumers should do their homework when looking at trade-in offers. The best offers from carriers may include conditions like new account activation or delayed bill credits, leaving many consumers with far less value for their phone than the trade-in value promoted in ads. Also, promotional pricing is often not offered to customers in carrier upgrade programs like AT&T Next, T-Mobile Jump and Verizon Edge. Carrier upgrade programs often require consumers to return their old phone without paying the consumer for the phone. Trading in with a third party like Gazelle could prove to be more financially lucrative and Gazelle's cash offer lets consumers choose how and when to spend the value from their old phone.





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Score 57% off this 2A Lightning Charger with USB Port today

Today, 02:59 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


This dual output car charger works great with any Lightning device. Whether you're charging a tablet or smartphone, you'll get a quick and efficient charge without overheating or overcharging. The additional USB port is even illuminated for easy access during the evening. Grab one today for only $14.95!





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Skype gets a new design and enhanced search on iPhone and...

Today, 02:36 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


Microsoft has just launched version 6.0 of its popular Skype messaging app for both the iPhone and iPad. Users will be able to check out a new design for the app in this update, along with other improvements.

Here's what Microsoft says is new with Skype 6.0:

  • Redesigned for iPhone and iPad – We've redesigned Skype for both iPhone and iPad to make the apps easier to use than ever before. The new navigation is simple, familiar and gets you to your conversations fast. With Skype 6.0 you can use swipe gestures to quickly make calls and easily manage your messages. We have also made it easier to share photos, web links, emoticons and your location while you're on a voice or video call.
  • Enhanced search – We've made it easier to find things in Skype. Simply use the new recents tab to search your messages and find contacts and groups.
  • The features you love, now on iPad – All the features you love on Skype for iPhone are on your iPad too. We've made messaging on Skype for iPad a whole lot better – you can share your location, send large emoticons, see web link previews and easily send and receive photos. Skype for iPad also helps you stay in touch with your groups – now start a group chat or a group voice call straight from your iPad.

You can download Skype 6.0 for the iPhone, and a separate app for the iPad, on the iOS App Store:

Source: Microsoft





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Airbnb picks up Apple Watch support for easier messaging

Today, 02:22 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


Rental service Airbnb has updated its app for iPhone and iPad, adding support for the Apple Watch. Airbnb for Apple Watch allows you access to the messaging service, which lets hosts and travelers communicate. You can get booking requests, respond to messages, and more.

As a host, when you receive a booking request in the watch app, you can check out the traveler's information right on your watch, including a photo, requested dates, and a personal message from the traveler. When messaging back and forth, you can also use a number of pre-set responses, which can be set up in the iPhone's Apple Watch companion app.

Apple Watch support comes as a part of Airbnb 15.35, which can be downloaded now from the App Store.





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Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is a flexible way to add ambi...

Today, 01:53 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


Philips has combined a flexible design with advanced lighting technology to launch the new Hue Lightstrip Plus. This new lighting fixture can be shaped, bent, even cut, and extended by up to 10 meters to introduce ambience to spaces throughout the home. If you're tired of relying on standard bulbs, and have places throughout the home where said lighting could be installed, the new Philips tech could be the ideal option for you.

The lighting itself is touted as being self-adhesive and easy to install, enabling you to place them along the bottom of a room, coving of a ceiling, or even along shelving. Since we're talking about Philips Hue here, you'll be able to configure the lighting from compatible apps and even have them change color depending on what's currently displayed on the big screen.

The only potential issue is the pricing, which may deter potential buyers. The two meter strip will set you back €79.95/$89.95, while the one meter extension strips will cost you €24.95/$29.95 each. Philips will launch the new lighting in Europe and the US come October.

Learn more about the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus: light bright enough to paint a whole room

Enhance your home with flexible connected light that can instantly switch a relaxing environment into an energizing one

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting, combines flexible design with cutting-edge connected lighting technology to deliver a whole new way of using light, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus. A hidden source of light, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus can be shaped, bent, cut and extended up to 10 meters to add atmosphere to any space in the home. With every shade of beautiful white light from cool blue white to warm yellow white as well as atmospheric colored light, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is a high quality, high output light that is bright enough to completely transform the character of a space. So whether it's entertaining friends or cooking a meal for the family, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus lets you 'paint with light' to create the perfect moment.

"With Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus we're encouraging people to get creative with light and really interact with it," explains Leonardo Avezzano, Product Marketing Director of Philips Hue. "Its extendible design along with its connectivity and high lumen output, means that it's even easier for people to use light to create the experience they want across their home."

As an indirect source of light, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus can be placed anywhere in the home to complement and enrich existing Philips Hue lights, delivering a uniformed color. Self-adhesive and easy to install, place along the bottom of a hallway choosing a beautiful shade of white light to create a sense of spaciousness; run along coving high up the walls of a room to wash the entire space with light instantly transforming its look and feel; or line along shelves and cabinets to add a stylish touch of ambience to match a mood or moment.

Taking flexible connected lighting to a whole new level, Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus is a part of the Philips Hue ecosystem, so it benefits from all the unique features of Philips Hue including interaction with more than 300 third-party apps. Check out apps that sync Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus to the TV and enjoy a completely new viewing experience where the lights change the atmosphere to enhance what's on screen. With Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus you can instantly change the ambience of any space in your home at the swipe of a finger, giving you unlimited flexibility and freedom to experience light as you want it.

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus two meter strip including the power adaptor is €79.95/ $89.95; one meter extension strips are €24.95 / $29.95 each. Available in Europe and North America from October 2015.





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Labor Day Sale: 20% off accessories at the iMore Store!

Today, 01:48 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


We're slashing prices this entire week on iPhone and iPad accessories, so getcha some while they're on the cheap.

Some of us will be enjoying our long Labor Day weekend by grilling up some BBQ with friends and family or getting our splash on at the beach. No matter how you spend your day off, starting today you can save 20% on everything from the iMore Store through midnight, September 9. There's plenty to choose from for popular devices like the iPhone 6, iPhone 5/5S, iPad Air, and more.

Use coupon code: LD2015 at checkout to apply the 20% discount to your entire order, and remember that we offer free shipping on orders over $50 within the continental US.

Let's shop!





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DaisyDisk gets a Yosemite makeover, shows what's eati...

Today, 01:43 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


DaisyDisk, a utility for helping you recover space on your hard drive, has hit version 4.0 with several major improvements, particularly to scanning speed, which is now up to 20x faster than the previous version. Additionally, the app has refreshed its look, brining it in line with the style of OS X Yosemite and the upcomign OS X El Capitan.

Here's everything you can expect in DaisyDisk 4.0:

  • Finally, brand new look-and-feel, matching the new OS style.
  • Dramatically improved scanning speed – up to 20x times faster! Now scanning takes just a few seconds, not minutes as before*.

(*Depends on your disk and CPU models. The speed gain is most notable on newer SSDs and 4-core CPUs).

  • Significantly reduced memory consumption.
  • A few minor features and tweaks.

You can grab DaisyDisk 4.0 from the Mac App Store right now.





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Apple TV refresh said to offer 16GB option, no 4K support...

Yesterday, 04:33 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

The expected reveal of the new Apple TV is coming soon, and a clearer picture is forming as to the hardware expected in the little box. In addition to the expected A8 system-on-a-chip and faster Wi-Fi, the new Apple TV will reportedly come in a 16GB variant. This would make sense, as the new model is also said to come with an App Store.

While 16GB might seem a little small, Apple is apparently unconcerned, as most content will stream to the box from the Internet, according to 9to5Mac:

While the new Apple TV will include an App Store for deep support for gaming, sources say that the limited storage offered by 8GB and 16GB flash memory is appropriate for the new model, as all content outside of applications will be streamed directly from the Internet.

The new Apple TV will also reportedly not include 4K support in this iteration. Given the current dearth of 4K content that's available, it's likely that Apple wouldn't want to devote resources to something that only a very small fraction of users would even be able to experience.

The new Apple TV is expected to be unveiled next week at Apple's September 9 event. The first major update to the set-top box in five years, the new Apple TV is expected to feature an Apple A8 system-on-a-chip, a brand new remote with motion control, a touchpad, and Siri support, as well as universal search. Recent reports put the starting price of the Apple TV at $149.

Source: 9to5Mac





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History of iPhone 4: Changing everything — again

Today, 01:00 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News


On the eve of iPhone 6s, we're updating and expanding our history of iPhone series—continuing with the iPhone 4 that changed everything—again!

Steve Jobs returned to the WWDC keynote stage on June 7, 2010. He'd introduced the iPad earlier in the year, and kicked things off with an update on how it, and the App Store had been doing (spoiler: Well!). Then he turned his attention to iPhone, and after recapping everything Apple had done to date, he began on what they were doing next. It had over 100 new features. It had an all-new design, an all-new camera, and an all new screen resolution. It was hot. It was the iPhone 4

iPhone 4 is the biggest leap since the original iPhone. FaceTime video calling sets a new standard for mobile communication, and our new Retina display is the highest resolution display ever in a phone, with text looking like it does on a fine printed page. We have been dreaming about both of these breakthroughs for decades.

4 times the pixels, face times the cameras

The iPhone 4, codenamed N90/N92 and device number iPhone3,1, for the first time, offered significant improvements to the display. Apple went with optical lamination and an in-plane switching (ISP) panel with light-emitting diode (LED) backlight. It made images look as if they were painted just beneath the glass, and greatly improved viewing angles. Moreover, instead of matching competing display sizes of the time, it leap-frogged over them. To boost pixel count yet maintain compatibility with existing apps, Apple doubled resolution both horizontally and vertically, but kept the physical size constant at 3.5-inches. That took it from a resolution of 480x320 to 960x640, and from a density of 163ppi to 326ppi. It was dense enough, Apple argued, that at normal viewing distance the pixels disappeared. They called it a Retina display.

It was part of a completely new design, something akin to Braun and Leica. Those were aesthetics Apple's senior vice president of design, Jony Ive, held in the highest of esteem. It was flat, chemically-hardened glass (aluminosilicate) front and back, with a stainless steel band that ran around the sides, and it was 24% thinner than the iPhone 3GS. It would come in black and white, though the former far sooner than the latter.

The cellular radio stayed pretty much the same, at least at first, though Apple did switch from mini to microSIM for the carrier card to save space. Bluetooth stayed the same as well. The Wi-Fi radio went to 802.11 g/b/n, though only on the 2.4Mhz band. The kicker wasn't the radios, however, it was this—the stainless steel band around the iPhone was the antenna. The top left contained Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and aGPS, and the rest contained UMTS/HSPA. Steve Jobs said it had never been done before.

Again, we had a full model number increase, which meant a full processor increase. In the case it was the custom-designed system-on-a-chip—the Apple A4. It was still an ARM Cortex A8 processor, though clocked higher at 800Mhz, and the same PowerVR SGX535 graphics chip, but it would set the stage for some truly impressive silicon over the next few years.

Storage options stayed the same at 16GB and 32GB but RAM was increased to 512MB. Like every first generation Retina device, however, it was barely enough to support all those additional pixels. The battery jumped to 1420mAh, which meant that, even with Retina, Apple actually managed to increase useful battery life as well.

Dual mics were also added for noise cancelation and better noise quality. In addition to the previous accelerometer and compass, Apple added a 3-axis gyroscope to the iPhone 4, with pitch, roll, and yaw, as well as rotation around gravity. Working together they provided 6-axis motion detection. It was a huge leap forward when it came to precision control, especially for gaming.

Apple took the iPhone 4's rear camera to 5 megapixels and 720p video, but at the same 1.75 micro pixel size, and added a backside illuminated sensor (BSI) and LED flash. There was, however, one more thing.

For the first time, Apple also added a front camera, VGA resolution. While it was a boon to the profile pics and "selfies" that were growing in popularity, it also allowed Apple to launch FaceTime video calling.

Price once again stayed the same, $199 and $299 on contract.

The best iPhone ever. Again.

The iPhone 4 launched on June 15, 2010. It would hit 88 countries and 185 carriers by the end of the year. Apple also launched iOS 4 along with it. Despite an initial rollout of only 5 countries, and considerable supply constraint, Apple still sold 1.7 million that first weekend.


Steve Jobs said, via Apple:

This is the most successful product launch in Apple's history. Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply.

AT&T let anyone within 6 months of their upgrade window qualify for full subsidy pricing, likely because they had an inkling what was coming, and even though the iPhone 4 provided far more hardware features than the iPhone 3GS, it was again aimed primarily at iPhone 3G owners and new customers, not the smaller niche of year-over-year upgrades.

Sascha Segan for PC Mag

The iPhone 4 is the best iPhone ever. That's for certain. It's the best media playing phone on the market, a terrific camera phone, and a truly awesome game-playing phone. It easily makes the cut for our list of The 10 Best Touch-Screen Phones. It's not the best phone-calling phone, but we've gone well beyond the era when everyone bought handheld, networked computers primarily for making long voice calls.

Joshua Topolsky for Engadget:

We're not going to beat around the bush -- in our approximation, the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone on the market right now. The combination of gorgeous new hardware, that amazing display, upgraded cameras, and major improvements to the operating system make this an extremely formidable package. Yes, there are still pain points that we want to see Apple fix, and yes, there are some amazing alternatives to the iPhone 4 out there. But when it comes to the total package -- fit and finish in both software and hardware, performance, app selection, and all of the little details that make a device like this what it is -- we think it's the cream of the current crop.

Yours truly for iMore:

An impressive new design, amazing new display, key features like multitasking, and an attempt to mainstream video calls, along with hundreds of other little improvements combine together to make this a substantial upgrade and clearly the best iPhone ever. (Given the success of previous iPhones, that's no faint praise).

With the iPhone 4, Apple for the first time began pushing the hardware well past the software.

Leaps... and stumbles

As innovative and exciting as the 2010 was for Apple, it was also painful. On April 19, 2010, it was revealed that an iPhone 4 prototype had been separated from an Apple engineer at a Redwood City bar. That prototype eventually made its way online, resulting in Apple's biggest product leak ever. While other sites got photos, the site that got the phone was Gizmodo.

You are looking at Apple's next iPhone. It was found lost in a bar in Redwood City, camouflaged to look like an iPhone 3GS. We got it. We disassembled it. It's the real thing, and here are all the details.

The fallout wouldn't just result in less of a surprise and cranky comments from Steve Jobs at WWDC and AllThingsD, it would result in a police investigation, and considerable repercussions for both Apple and Gizmodo.

The white version of the iPhone 4 also provided Apple with considerable challenges. Apple's engineering team had to prevent UV rays from yellowing it over time, and they had to prevent the opacity of the paint from interfering with the internal sensors. That took longer than they anticipated. Short term it meant the white iPhone 4 would not ship on time. On June 23, the following statement was released by Apple:

White models of Apple's new iPhone 4 have proven more challenging to manufacture than expected, and as a result they will not be available until the second half of July. The availability of the more popular iPhone 4 black models is not affected.

It would take until April 28, 2011 to hit the shelves. Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, via Apple:

The white iPhone 4 has finally arrived and it's beautiful. We appreciate everyone who has waited patiently while we've worked to get every detail right.

Apple's new, external antenna design, for all it's strong points when in good signal area turned out to have a weak point when the signal was low. If you put your finger on the juncture at the bottom left, you could detune it and lessen reception by a couple of bars. If all you had were a couple of bars or less, you could kill reception completely.

It was absolutely a real, reproducible issue, and real people were absolutely affected, but since removing the finger or insulating the juncture with a case, returned the iPhone to normal working order, it wasn't a showstopper. That didn't matter, though. There was blood in the water.

Apple at first tried to show that any mobile phone, if enough surface area was covered, could suffer from signal strength attenuation. That was true but also beside the point. Any phone could be attenuated but far fewer could be detuned and the iPhone 4 was by far the most popular and high profile.

On July 2, an open letter was published by Apple:

Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don't know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.

To fix this, we are adopting AT&T's recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone's bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see.

It wasn't enough. On July 16, Apple held a press conference to address the ongoing issue and offered free bumpers to anyone suffering from the problem. Apple also granted an unprecedented look inside their multimillion dollar antenna design and testing center. They'd later redesign the antenna and reduce, and then eliminate the problem.

We wouldn't have to wait a full year for a completely new iPhone generation to get the redesigned antenna, however. We only had to wait some six months, at least for the announcement.

On January 10, 2011 Apple's then-COO Tim Cook took the stage at another, separate event and announced the iPhone would, at long last, come to Verizon.

It launched on February 10, and included a new antenna array that not only minimized detuning but supported CDMA and EVDO Rev A networking as well. EVDO Rev A was nowhere nearly as fast as GSM HSPA, nor could it handle simultaneous voice and data, but thanks to Verizon's network, it greatly increased the reach and customer experience in the U.S.

Combined with the white iPhone 4 shipping, it let Apple leave that year on a considerable high.

How to make a competing phone

Apple's competitors had learned a lot over the last few years. Some directly from having worked with Apple to manufacture phones and their components, like Samsung, and others who'd worked with Apple on software and services, like Google. Others had learned relatively little, like BlackBerry.


After letting Verizon dictate criteria for the failed BlackBerry Storm, RIM let AT&T dictate criteria for the BlackBerry Torch. It tried to both compete with full screen phones but also keep traditional keyboard customers happy. It's tough to argue the Torch ended up doing either well.

Samsung began the year well. They'd achieved a large level of success with their Galaxy S lineup by being the closet thing you could get to an iPhone on Verizon back before you could get an iPhone on Verizon. The iPhone 4 killed that strategy, however, so it was unclear where they'd go next.

Palm, for all their software elegance, wasn't able to get the carrier deals it needed. Because, unlike Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and Apple, it had no other businesses to help fund its phone aspirations, it also had trouble getting cutting edge hardware components to match its cutting edge experience.

Google, meanwhile, had Nexus One. It was launched in collaboration with HTC and timed it not only to hit Apple after its yearly hype cycle had ended, but hit the tech press just as CES excitement had begun. It was also unlike any other Android phone ever seen before—a look forward at what the next year would bring.

Competitive trash-talk had shifted, in part, from iPhone to iPad, but rival CEO's weren't entirely silent in 2010:

Jim Balsillie, of RIM (BlackBerry):

As usual, whether the subject is antennas, Flash or shipments, there is more to the story and sooner or later, even people inside [Apple's] distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story.

Eric Schmidt, former Apple board member but not yet former Google CEO, began his campaign to paint Apple as closed and Google as open:

The easiest comparison to do today is the Apple model. You have to use their development tools, their hardware, their software, when you submit an application they have to approve it. That would not be open. So the inverse would be open.

Every company is closed when it comes to what makes them successful and open when it comes to what makes their competitors successful. Apple was open with browsers just like Google was closed when it came to search algorithms and ad exchanges. Since it was easier to see and feel end-point openness, however, Google succeeded in rallying many in the open source software community to their cause.

Google's Vic Gundotra beat the same drum at the company's annual I/O conference:

If Google did not act, we faced a draconian future where one man, one company, one device, one carrier would be our only choice. That's not a future we want.

That similar hyperbole could be aimed at Google when it came to search didn't matter. By making it free to vendors and handing back ultimate control of the phone experience to carriers, Android's ascension had begun.

Four Years Later

The iPhone 3G was gone, the iPhone 3GS remained, and the iPhone 4 once again took Apple to greater numbers than ever before. Nothing, however, could prepare the world for what would happen next...





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